Egyptian Protests: Large Numbers of Sexual Assaults In Just 4 Days

The world has watched Cairo, Egypt since last week when protestors gathered in Tahrir Square calling for Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Morsi to step down as leader of Egypt. Reports regarding the response of Morsi, Egypt’s military, the Obama Administration and protestors appeared daily and continue to appear after his removal by the Egyptian military. While our focus was on the political climate, another climate, all too prevalent in Egypt, continued on during these protests with little coverage. Human Rights Watch reported that during the days of the protests in Tahrir Square beginning June 30, 2013, at least 91 women were sexually assaulted or raped by mobs without impunity in the square.

The Blaze reports that Human Rights Watch (HRW) received “some of the reports from the Egyptian group Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault which runs a rape hotline and tries to stop attacks.” On Sunday, the group reported 46 attacks; 17 attacks occurred on Monday, and 23 on Tuesday. All the attacks occurred in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. HRW indicates “Egyptian officials and political leaders across the spectrum should condemn and take immediate steps to address the horrific levels of sexual violence against women in Tahrir Square.”

The HRW report continues:

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“The rampant sexual attacks during the Tahrir Square protests highlight the failure of the government and all political parties to face up to the violence that women in Egypt experience on a daily basis in public spaces,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “These are serious crimes that are holding women back from participating fully in the public life of Egypt at a critical point in the country’s development.”

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The group’s volunteers intervened to protect and evacuate women in 31 cases of sexual assault. Four of the women needed medical assistance, including two who were evacuated by ambulance. The women’s rights group Nazra for Feminist Studies had confirmed another five attacks on June 28.

One woman required surgery after being raped with a “sharp object,” volunteers with the group said. In other cases, women were beaten with metal chains, sticks, and chairs, and attacked with knives. In some cases they were assaulted for as long as 45 minutes before they were able to escape.

Human Rights Watch has long documented the problem of sexual assault in Cairo’s streets and particularly at protests. A new video highlights the stories of women who have been attacked, in some cases as recently as January.

The Egyptian government’s response has typically been to downplay the extent of the problem or to seek to address it through legislative reform alone. What is needed are concerted efforts to improve law enforcement’s practice in protecting victims and     effectively investigating and prosecuting the attackers, as well as a comprehensive national strategy on the part of the government, Human Rights Watch said.

Egypt’s medical officials, the media and the political parties like the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party have little awareness of or respect for privacy of victims or how to adequately deal with the trauma. There have been reports that police officials, state medical officers and those in the political parties have shared victim information with the media, violating the victim’s privacy and in some cases placing the victim’s security at risk.

The findings by HRW conclude, based on witness and survivor accounts, the attacks appear to have followed a strikingly similar patterns. The pattern that appeared is as follows; “Typically a handful of young men at demonstrations single out a woman and encircle her, separating her from her friends. During the attacks – which have lasted from a few minutes to more than an hour – the number of attackers increases and they grope the woman’s body and try to remove her clothing. The attackers often drag the woman to a different location while continuing to attack her. In some cases, the attackers have assaulted other women and activists with sticks and knives for trying to rescue the victims. Survivors and witnesses told Human Rights Watch that some of the men claiming to help the women during the attacks were in fact taking part, further disorienting victims, who could not assess who was in fact assisting them.”

The Blaze reported earlier in the week an Egyptian media writing that a Dutch journalist was gang-raped in Tahrir Square in an attack that left her so severely injured, surgery was required. Public statements by elected officials in Egypt have not helped. In fact, an HRW report in February 2012 cited Egyptian legislators blamed women for the mob assaults against them. According to the report, Shura Council Member General Adel Afifi said, “Women contribute 100 percent in their rape because they put themselves in such circumstances.”

When you watch the video, take note at the woman who told the investigator sexual assault had happened to her a number of times. Take a good look and listen to the man who claims women cause it by the way they dress and the way they walk. Amazingly, the women are very calm and almost matter of fact about the attacks. This says volumes about the human rights atrocities against women in these countries: it’s commonplace, it happens often and sometimes more than once, and it can almost be expected if a woman appears in public.

It comes up time and time again. The attitude of individuals regarding victims of sexual assault or rape are astounding; it’s the woman’s fault. Some in the US even have this callous, uncaring, “give the perpetrator a free pass” attitude on this violent crime. Activists in the US have worked to change that, but you still have a few tiny, small minded, leftist individuals who cling to their myths in hopes of getting the rest of us to believe the moon is made of cheese and the earth is really flat. Sexual assault and rape are violent crimes and yes it occurs in every country, including the US.

Why is this atrocity in Egypt so important? That country has a large Islam population who have persecuted Christians, installed a Muslim Brotherhood government(until recently) who slowly was instituting Sharia law, and who are acting in accordance with their religious (and I use that term loosely) text. It’s important because the treatment of women in countries that have Islam as the predominant religion can be expected to happen here in the United States if the Americans do not stand up to our government’s promotion of Islam above all other religions.

America, we must wake up and see that in our own backyard, Islam is here and the installation of Sharia has begun. Freedom of speech has been limited amongst those who are not Islamic when that speech “offends” Muslims. produced the following video entitled Shariamerica: Islam, Obama and the Establishment clause.

It would behoove everyone to visit the site and educate yourself about this pseudo-religion. Yes, the left states those who oppose Islam are bigots, racists, xenophobes, and Islamophobes. If that’s what those narrow-minded individuals want to call those who only seek to expose the truth, speak the truth and maintain God-given rights and liberty, so be it. But, I can almost guarantee that when the last bastion of liberty and freedom falls, those individuals won’t be able to coddle the Islamic movement into sparing their lives, excusing them from slavery or subservience, or into paying extortion money if they refuse to submit. These individuals will be looking to be saved by those who spoke for years about this egregious totalitarian political system masquerading as a religion. Where do you think those individuals will be?

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